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Is there a word to describe the repeated usage of the same word at the beginning of a...

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query10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM via web

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Is there a word to describe the repeated usage of the same word at the beginning of a phrase or sentence?

For example:  "As if he were trying to say something, as if he intended to explain, as if he meant to clarify the point."  Is there a word for that literary device?  

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:26 AM (Answer #1)

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The post above has identified the term you are most likely looking for - anaphora. In the study of literature and writing, anaphora refers to the first words in successive sentences and phrases. 

In rhetoric, an anaphora (Greek: ἀναφορά, "carrying back") is a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis.

Anaphora can be understood as a special form of parallelism also, where a sentence structure or sentence type is repeated. So, parallelism is another (more general) term that applies to the example you've provided. 

Anaphora also falls into the rhetorical category of repitition

Sources:

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Zac Egs | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted March 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM (Answer #2)

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Hi,

I think that it is an anaphora.

Best,

Zac Egs

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